A Dream Come True

Last week, my husband (and kids) made one of my dreams come true.  For about ten years now, I have fantasized about taking a trip to DeSoto State Park and The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Alabama.  Years ago, a coworker, Sue, told me about the state park – a place that she and her family would meet each Thanksgiving week, share a cabin and enjoy this natural wonderland of trees and waterfalls.  From a family member, I learned of The Shrine, but it wasn’t until I read Mother Angelica’s (of EWTN television fame) story that I became intrigued with the idea of visiting this little slice of heaven.

I heard today a statistic that stated that 58% of all vacations are a “let down.”  This was by far one of the most relaxing and spiritually recharging trips I have ever taken.  Being surrounded by God’s magnificent creations was truly awe-inspiring.  Taking part in simple pleasures with my husband and children – playing together, discovering new sights and sounds and having heartfelt conversations was time so well spent. ( Refereeing sibling squabbles in the car – not so much fun!) The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, though man-made, was awe-inspiring as well.  The designers and builders went to great lengths to make a temple as worthy of a King (Jesus) as humanly possible. It was amazing!

I have had an overwhelming drive to “simplify” since returning from the trip.  Perhaps it was because this vacation was a “back to basics” kind of adventure.  At the beginning of the trip, my eldest had difficulty relaxing.  Removing himself from all of the technology, noise and distractions was a bit unsettling.  He suggested that I should have “saved my pennies” a bit longer so as to afford a real vacation – not the “budget” version out in the middle of nowhere.  To each his own, I guess!

I feel the urge to clear out the clutter everywhere around me – rid myself of things not necessary – eat more simply, maybe dress more simply, take part in more simple pleasures.  I grew up in a home that was very tidy.  Everything was driven by time and routine.  When I got married, I “rebelled” by doing many things haphazardly or spontaneously.  I thought that would decrease my stress.  It’s not that my house is a total mess by any means, but I admittedly don’t have a place for everything – everything in its place.  Suddenly, strangely, I’m craving order and simplicity.  Is it possible to live such a life in a world filled with so much noise, activity and “stuff?”

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About danardoyle

I am a Catholic, working wife and mother. I have three children ages 7, 14 and 21. I am extremely busy, as you can imagine. I aim each and every day to put God first in my life, to teach my children the Faith, to be a supportive spouse, keep the house in order, and do my job outside of the home well, too. That's an impossible task - without Divine intervention! Here, I hope to share my triumphs and struggles with other working moms in the same boat. I will share the tools I have discovered to making it all work - most days!
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2 Responses to A Dream Come True

  1. momn3boys says:

    Sounds like a wonderful trip! I have Alabama on my own mental “places to go on vacation” list, mainly because of the Shrine and EWTN, (and now that there’s an Indy Car race every year in Alabama, maybe I can convince my husband to take me!! LOL) I think our family is in the 42% that take non-letdown vacations. I was surprised at that statistic, but at the same time not. So many people go to Disney several times a year (we’ve only been once, and only because it was a Christmas gift; and no, it wasn’t a letdown), and that’s a fun trip but busy and stressful. We prefer trips like yours–to the beach and the woods and national parks and such–where we can get back to basics and recharge.

    • danardoyle says:

      I hope that you do make it to the Shrine. It is incredibly beautiful and spiritually uplifting. I know what you mean about having something else for the family to do while there. Hanceville is in the country – kind of in the middle of “Nowhere” so to speak. I took my teens go cart riding after visiting the Shrine so that they would feel that they had an exciting day like me. They did appreciate the awesome church, but probably not as much as I did:)

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